How to create and add a Shutdown shortcut to the Start screen in Windows 8

Shutdown shortcut - Start screen - Windows 8

In this article you’ll learn how to create and customize a shortcut in Windows 8 and add it to the new Start screen — in this case it will be a Shutdown shortcut, but you can create a Sleep, Restart, Hibernate shortcut or anything else you want –.

As you may have seen by now, Microsoft is reinventing Windows from an icon based OS to a live tile based OS, hundreds of new features and changes are being added, and even though there are a lot of things that are new, they are not too complicated to relearn and customization still somehow simple.

Now what happens when you want to add your own tweaks, for example, in this case shortcuts to perform and specific task such as launching an application, or something that would be useful, like including the missing Shutdown or Restart capabilities back — of course, you can use  + I keyboard shortcut  in Windows 8 too, but many people are used to shutting down from the classic Start menu.

Note: As Microsoft’s next operating system, Windows 8, matures with time, I am sure that there will be better procedures to all this, but in the meantime you can try the following.

How to create a shortcut in Windows 8

1.  Open Windows Explorer and in the address bar type the following and press Enter:

%appdata%\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs

Windows 8 - Path to Programs

2.  Once you are in Programs, you’ll need to create a shortcut for anything you like — For this Windows How-To we are going to be creating a Shutdown shortcut:

On an empty space, do a right-click, navigate through New and click on Shortcut. In there type the following and click Next to continue:

Creating shortcut in Windows 8

  • Shutdown computer
shutdown.exe -t 00 -s
  • Restart computer
shutdown.exe -t 00 -r
  • Hibernate computer
rundll32.exe PowrProf.dll,SetSuspendState
  • Sleep computer
rundll32.exe powrprof.dll,SetSuspendState 0,1,0

Shutdown shortcut path

In the next step, type a descriptive name for the shortcut, e.g., Shutdown computer or Shutdown Windows 8, etc., this can be anything you like, and then click Finish to create the shortcut.

Name shortcut

3.  When you are done creating the shortcut, you’ll see that a new icon showed up in the folder. You can double-click it to test if indeed it shuts the computer down, or in the other cases if it restarts, sleeps or hibernates your computer.

Changing shortcut icon

You probably don’t like the default icon for the shortcut, it would be nice if it had a more meaningful image, right? 

Shortcut created

OK then, right-click the shortcut (Shutdown Computer) and click on Properties. In the Shortcut tab, click on Change Icon, click OK if a message box appears, select the icon you like, click OKApply and OK again.

Shortcut properties

Select shortcut icon

Now the Shutdown shortcut has a better look.

Change shortcut icon

Adding Shutdown button to the Start screen in Windows 8

Once you’re done creating the Shutdown shortcut, go back to the new Start screen and type shutdown computer or the name you called the shortcut.

Search app in Windows 8

On the result that appears in your left-hand side, right-click the item to select.

Shutdown search Windows 8

And at the bottom right-hand corner, click Pin.

Pin item to Start screen - Windows 8

Finally, go back to the Start screen and you’ll see your newly created shortcut, all the way in the right side. Now the only thing left for you to do is to move it any where you like and test it one more time.

Shutdown shortcut in Windows 8

About the author

Mauro Huculak is a Windows How-To Expert who started Pureinfotech in 2010 as an independent online publication. He has also been a Windows Central contributor for nearly a decade. Mauro has over 14 years of experience writing comprehensive guides and creating professional videos about Windows and software, including Android and Linux. Before becoming a technology writer, he was an IT administrator for seven years. In total, Mauro has over 20 years of combined experience in technology. Throughout his career, he achieved different professional certifications from Microsoft (MSCA), Cisco (CCNP), VMware (VCP), and CompTIA (A+ and Network+), and he has been recognized as a Microsoft MVP for many years. You can follow him on X (Twitter), YouTube, LinkedIn and Email him at [email protected].